This is Hercules, my cat.
He’s a 4th generation pet in our family, born and raised in our house. He is now 13 years old, and has recently been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (or Chronic Renal Disease – CRD). Needless to say, I cry every time I look at him and he looks back with those soulful, almond-shaped green eyes.
His liver and heart are not in good shape either, so every morning before I go to work, I give him his meds (which he hates), during which he protests a lot and I get some scratches in return. -_- He seems to calm down a little when I sing, or maybe he’s just scared of what must seem like awful moaning to him. XD Afterwards I give him a rubdown and a hug, and stroke his cheeks (which he absolutely loves), and we do this all over again after I get home from work at night. These are lifetime maintenance meds, so he’ll have to get used to them.
Herc is half Maine Coon, which I learned is one of the breed of cats predisposed to developing chronic kidney disease. He has lost some weight since he got sick. He’s on wet prescription diet now, no dry kibbles anymore (sorry, big guy). He drinks very little water though, and mule-headed as he is, I could never cajole him to drink more. Good thing he has regained his appetite and energy somewhat in the last 2 days (thank God!), but now I have to cut his playtime short and hide his toys because he mustn’t get tired.
Just the other day, he slept on my chest while I was watching TV. Feeling his breathing vibrating though his body I started to cry. His ears perked up and he lifted his head. Somehow he sensed something was wrong, and he started sniffing at my face. There’s an article recently about how tears from different emotions are also structurally different under the microscope. As soon as he got a whiff of my tears he got a weird expression on his face that I almost laughed. And then he butted his head under my chin. I don’t think he was comforting me. I get the feeling he was telling me, “Don’t be such a baby!” XDD
I read that with proper care and diet, cats with kidney disease can live up to 2-3 years longer. My Herc is strong, stubborn and resilient. Sentient beings that cats are, he’s also very smart and intelligent. He’s been with me through some of the worst times of my life. Maybe, just maybe, we can get through this together. 😦